Senior IPCC Scientist Chris Field of Stanford told members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that global warming is happening faster than the IPCC calculated just two years ago, the Financial Times reports.
Professor Field said that the rapid increase in coal-burning since 2000 presents “a real risk that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for thousands of years.”
Scientists fear that the release of CO2 and methane from melting permafrost could accelerate warming in a ‘positive feedback loop’ that would be beyond our power to control.
There was optimism at the annual AAAS meeting, however, about President Obama’s determination to tackle climate and energy issues, and the importance his administration has placed on science.
More on IPCC reports here.